Whether you're a writer who reads or a reader who writes, you can only benefit from your reading habit.
I feel bad for those who seldom read books. Have you ever heard someone say Nah, I don't like to read. I'd rather watch TV. I'm sure you all know people who have said that or something similar. My inward reaction is that they miss so much. I'm not much of a TV fan. I have a few shows, and they're very few, that I enjoy but I much prefer reading in the evening than sitting in front of a screen.
I will admit that, as a kid, I became totally addicted to movies. TV was not in every home and movies were our main form of entertainment. How I loved them! The theaters changed venues a couple times a week and often showed a double feature plus a news short and a cartoon. And the coming attractions, of course. Those short bits showing what the next movies would be hooked me every time. I had mental lists of the ones I wanted to see. Which was usaully all of them!
Even with my movie addiction, I grew up being an avid reader from the first Dick and Jane books on to my adult choices. Always have been, still am, and will be as long as my mind and eyes hold up. Here are a few of the benefits I've derived from my reading habit.
I've traveled the world through reading.
I've met people from every walk of life through reading.
I've gathered information of all kinds through reading.
I've escaped from everyday cares through reading.
I've run the gamut of emotions through reading.
I've been entertained countless hours through reading.
I've been helped in my writing through reading.
Can you become a reader later in life if you've spurned it in the past? Yes, it can be done. My son read only what he had to for school and once he'd graduated from college, he pushed books far into the background of his life. He did read newspapers daily but never a novel. Ever! His wife and two daughters are all readers and one day a few years ago, his daughter got him to read a novel she'd enjoyed. He did it for her, I'm sure, and to his utter surprise, he was hooked. At the time, he traveled a lot for his job, and he found out that taking a paperback novel with him helped get through those hours of waiting in airports and on airplanes. So, yes, you can become a reader later in life.
I don't feel guilty about reading. Whatever else I may be shirking will most likely still be there waiting when I finish the book. Rationalization? Perhaps but readers can always find a reason to read.